Republicans are changing their minds and hoping we don’t notice

According to whatever metric you use, red states are failing their citizens in the fight against COVID-19. Fewer citizens in red states have been vaccinated. Residents of these MAGA states, that is, states that voted for Donald Trump in the last election, are getting sick and dying at twice the rate of blue states, that is, states that voted for Joe Biden.

At what point are Republicans going to admit they were wrong? Probably never. What is happening instead is a slow transition. Recall the time Matt Gaetz showed up in Congress wearing a gas mask? Days like that, the days of blatant, mocking hostility to pandemic science, are giving way to days of quiet but unrepentant acquiescence. The days of overt sneering scorn of pandemic science are now metamorphosing into days of encouraging people to get vaccinated — with a hastily assembled caveat that it should always be up to the individual, of course.

As with their erstwhile hostility to global warming science, many Republicans are now making the slow transition to the inexorable world of scientific reality about COVID, and they are pretending they were there from the very beginning. Republicans are at last reading the handwriting on the wall, as it were, they just had to wait until the individual letters of that handwriting were 12 feet tall.

But they can’t leave their racism at home. In a recent interview with the (barely) closeted Nazi Laura Ingraham (who is almost certainly vaccinated), Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (who is almost certainly vaccinated) blamed unvaccinated people of color for the most significant Covid spread in his state. Every statistic available says the exact opposite. But because Patrick is a racist he needed to distract from his Party’s errors on COVID and blame somebody else, and he whitesplained the blame on the innocent black citizens of his state. Of course Laura Ingraham let him get away with it, because she’s an even bigger racist than he is.


The days of claiming that COVID is a disease of the elderly is likewise coming to an end, as children are getting sick and dying in increasingly alarming numbers. Yes, Republicans are beginning to state the obvious about COVID because the obvious is becoming increasingly unavoidable. Before long they will be wondering aloud what took us so long to come around to their point of view. Think I’m crazy? Just wait and watch. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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